Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The Story behind the story
By Kelly Irvin
I had as much fun writing A Plain Love Song as perhaps any book I’ve written. I fell in love with both heroes, I got to write the lyrics for country music songs, visit Branson, MO, with my hubby, and try my hand at playing the guitar (total failure by the way). Having said that, the premise explored in A Plain Love Song is a serious one. For those ofus who aren’t Amish, it’s hard to imagine a faith that prohibits playing music on a guitar. But most Amish see playing instruments as a way of drawing attention to self, something they never want to do. Look at the adulation we pour out upon singers and musicians whobecome celebrities pinned under a microscope by the media. Autographs and screaming teenagers and the red carpet on awards night. For the Amish this is the antithesis of what they believe in. Keep yourselves apart from the world. Be humble. Be obedient to God’s will.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve of what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”Romans 12:2 (NIV)
Adah Knepp knows what her District and her family expect of her and she wants desperately to be happy where she is. But the songs bubble out of her faster than she can write them down and she doesn’t know how to silence them. She loves her family and shethinks she’s in love with Matthew Troyer. Then she meets a cowboy musician named Jackson Hart who falls in love with her and makes it his mission to help her make her dreams come true. He teaches her to play the guitar. He shows her a life she could only dream of before. Bright lights, sequins, and music on every corner found in Branson, MO.
Adah has to make choices. Just as we all do. Her family and her faith or her dream of becoming a singer-songwriter. I know a little about how that feels. When I was younger I chose to give up a job that had me climbing the ladder to bigger, better market newspapers so I could follow my husband to a new job that would better his career. WhenI had children I chose to give up my newspaper career altogether and get into public relations in hope that the hours and pay would be better for the sake of my family. (Yes, I was naïve.) My husband and I chose to stay in a top twenty TV market rather than taking his career to the next level of a top ten market because San Antonio is a better place to raise children than any of those top ten cities. We sacrificed career dreams for family and time has shown that we made the choices right for us and our family.
Adah has to decide what she’s willing to sacrifice for her happiness and that of the peopleshe loves. That is a challenge faced across all faiths. What are you willing to give up for family and faith?